“THIS IS OUR SHOT” is a campaign launched by the coalition of COVID-19 task forces and doctors serving ethnic communities across Canada and aiming to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence so that we can protect ourselves and end the pandemic.
Doctors, athletes, celebrities, astronauts, front-line professionals have banded together to tackle vaccine hesitancy, to deliver the public health message to underserved communities and to encourage more Canadians to get inoculated.
CultureLink’s staff from the ‘Library Settlement Partnership’ and ‘Settlement Workers in Community Spaces’ programs, who serve clients from vulnerable communities, most at risk of contracting COVID-19, know that newcomers to Canada often get misinformed and concerned about vaccines following social media and randomly selected sources.
Some of these clients feel strongly against vaccines, others are eager to get a shot, but have some misgivings around safety, such as whether vaccines were developed too quickly. Other worries are more specific: for example, are the shots religiously sanctioned or are they vegan. But most vaccine-hesitant are at least thinking about getting a shot and they are most likely to listen to trusted friends, healthcare providers and community leaders.
Our settlement workers use the grassroots approach to vaccine hesitancy, having the vaccine information delivered to newcomers in a personalized way and spreading the message in different languages. It takes a lot of work in terms of trust-building and helping clients feel more comfortable by providing accurate information and answering all the questions.
Claudia Montoya from the LSP program joined the “This Is Our Shot” campaign, recognizing that each one of us has a role to play in getting through the pandemic, to encourage the Hispanic Canadian community to get vaccinated and to bring people coming together to get protected from COVID-19.
In order to address the questions Canadians may have about COVID-19 vaccines, the campaign has information available in more than 25 languages on its website.
Those who wish to join the movement can purchase a T-shirt online, with all proceeds going to the Kids Help Phone charity, then wear the shirt while getting vaccinated and post a photo or video on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #ThisIsOurShotCA.